Mozilla

Posts Tagged with “Foundation”

Mozilla Foundation and 2010 Goals

November 30th, 2008

In the past few weeks I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations about strengthening the Mozilla Foundation and a lot of conversations about the 2010 goals. I don’t think we’ve got the connection between the two quite right.

We’ve been thinking about the Foundation’s role in too small a way. We’ve been thinking along the lines of: “Which portion of our goals has a good space for Foundation activity?” Or “are some of these goals particularly Foundation-like?”  The result has been identification of some areas that do feel particularly appropriate for the Foundation. But this isn’t the biggest, or most important question.  These questions focus on organizational structure rather than the goals themselves.

The really important question is: How does Mozilla assemble / motivate / use all of our resources to achieve the things we identify as most important? In the near future, the  Foundation will develop new programs and new capabilities. For example, Mark has mentioned “education” as a likely area of focus. Let’s assume that’s the case, and let’s assume that mobile is a 2010 goal. The question we should be asking is:  what are all the things Mozilla can do to bring openness and participation and innovation to a unified web that spans mobile devices and the desktop?

The Foundation leads a set of product – related programs indirectly, through delegation to  Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Messaging. It currently leads a set of programs directly, and will organize and lead a larger set in the future.    All of these programs should contribute to the tasks we think are most important. The product groups — browser, platform, messaging, email should all be contributing to each goal. Other parts of the Mozilla community will hopefully use their resources to help achieve the same goals.  The Mozilla Foundation should lead the way here.

With this approach, I looked at the goals again to see if they make sense. I think they do. Of course, the goals may be revised a bit as a result of the conversations of the past few months. But I don’t feel that the list should be changed due to increased Mozilla Foundation involvement. If the Foundation focuses on education, then it makes sense that some part of those programs would try to advance a unified web, consumer control over relevant data, and the other goals. If the Mozilla Foundation has a program focused on consumer outreach or evangelism, it again makes sense that part of those programs focus on the 2010 goals.

I also find that this approach better reflects the centrality of the Mozilla Foundation values — we are all focused on building an the Internet that refects Mozilla values. Some of us do so through creating products.  This is not separate from the key values or somehow different from the heart of the Mozilla Foundation. The products exist to make our values concrete. Our products exist to put innovation, choice and participation at the fingertips of hundreds of millions of people.

The products also open many doors, from evangelism to participation to thought leadership. All of thse resouces should be utilized in pursuit of our goals.

I’d like to go back and look at the the Foundation through this broader lens of Mozilla-wide goals.  I’ve talked with Mark about this. I think it’s fair to say he was also feeling we’re not quite there yet with the Foundation-specific part of the 2010 goals.  Mark will certainly speak for himself, but I do know that this more integrated approach resonates well with his work.    Look for something on this topic from Mark soon.

2010 Goals and Broader Mozilla Foundation Ideas

October 19th, 2008

Mark Surman recently joined the Mozilla Foundation as our new Executive Director.  Mark and I are spending a lot of time together, and one topic is the 2010 goals.  I crafted these goals to be focused on our products and technology.  Now that Mark has been immersed in Mozilla for a few weeks (coming up on a month), we believe it would be great to include some references to even broader Mozilla Foundation goals.  Mark will propose something in the next week or so.  We hope that the various discussions about the 2010 goals will include some thinking on these topics.

Mark Surman: New Mozilla Foundation Executive Director

August 18th, 2008

I’m thrilled to announce that Mark Surman is joining the Mozilla Foundation as our new Executive Director. Mark joins us after a long period of getting to know — and being known by — Mozilla contributors. This includes many, many hours of discussions with Mozilla contributors, Mozilla Foundation Board members and search committee members, an Air Mozilla broadcast, extensive discussions with current Mozilla Foundation personnel, and more hours getting to know Mozilla at the Firefox Plus Summit. It’s a rare candidate who can transit such a prolonged and open process. Many thanks to everyone who participated.

A very special thanks go to Frank Hecker, who has served as our Executive Director since 2006. Frank has been a huge champion of extending Mozilla’s reach beyond our current scope, of using Mozilla DNA and values to do so, and of expanding the open web through programs like the accessibility initiative that he has implemented. We’re very fortunate that Frank will remain with the Mozilla Foundation and will continue to champion these and other projects central to the Mozilla identity.

Mark is wrapping up his work with the Shuttleworth Foundation and will join us officially on September 22. He’ll be thinking about Mozilla — you can find his thoughts at his blog. But Mark probably won’t be very active in the online Mozilla world for much of late August and September when he’s traveling with only limited time and access. Look for more in late September and October.

Mark Surman and the Mozilla Foundation

July 17th, 2008

I’m thrilled to report that we’ve identified the person we believe should lead the Mozilla Foundation into a new stage of activity. That person is Mark Surman, the role is Mozilla Foundation Executive Director. “We” in this case is the Executive Director Search Committee, the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors, Mozilla Foundation staff, plus a set of other Mozilla contributors who have spoken with Mark.

The Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors and Mark would like the Mozilla community and Mark to meet before we make a final decision. We’re inviting interested parties to talk with Mark about the Mozilla Foundation and the Executive Director role, to develop a feel for how well Mark and the Mozilla project fit together, and provide your thoughts and advice to Mark on what would make a successful Mozilla Foundation and a successful ED.

We’ll do this via an Air Mozilla broadcast. It will be on Wednesday, July 23 at 11am Pacific time, 6pm GMT. Mark lives in Toronto, so he’ll join us from there. Asa will host, and Mitchell will participate from Mountain View. As always, we’ll have facilities for people to send in questions, either before or during the broadcast and we’ll answer as many of them as possible. We’ll make the questions and the broadcast available afterwards for those who can’t join us at the time. After the broadcast we’ll have a mechanism for you to share your ideas. Most likely that will be  messages to me, I’ll be more definitive shortly. Your thoughts will assist the Board and Mark in making a final decision.

We are not planning to introduce a series of candidates for the Executive Director in this manner. After many months and countless discussions and interviews, Mark stands out as the one person we want to introduce to the Mozilla community for this role.

Some additional materials: Mark’s blog, which includes some recent posts about Mozilla, Mark’s CV, and the Mozilla Foundation Executive Director job description.

Mozilla Foundation Activities

June 27th, 2008

There’s a bit of a discussion underway about what the Mozilla Foundation might do to become an even more effective organization in achieving its mission. Mark Surman and Dave Eaves had some thoughts about this mission in possibly the broadest possible formulation — a social movement for the Open Web (or Open Internet). David Ascher has a nice follow-up, pointing out a few areas beyond the products we shipping today that are in need of serious attention for an Open Internet to be real. Glyn Moody has a piece up at Linux Journal called “How Can we Harness the Firefox Effect” that carries these ideas even further. This is great to see. The open-endedness of this encourages good brainstorming.

I’ve lived deep inside the Mozilla product effort for so long I’m probably a bit less open-ended. At the very highest level we want to make the Internet a universal platform accessible to all, and to promote innovation and choice in Internet activities. Moving one step closer to concreteness, we have the Mozilla Manifesto. The Manifesto sets out some of the characteristics necessary for the Internet to be such a platform. We’re doing a good job through our product and service offerings. The Mozilla Foundation must maintain these, but there’s more to be done.

If the Internet is to be open, universal and truly accessible, there must be ways for individuals to participate in creating this Open Internet. We know that open source is the quintessential model for us. Open source allows us to participate in building products that embody openness and enable innovation and choice.

But not everyone is going to build software products and services.  The question is, how do we take the things that make Mozilla effective and expand that to a broader scope? I’m wary of becoming diffuse and losing our effectiveness. I’m wary of the Mozilla Foundation becoming an organization that does a lot of talking about the Open Internet but doesn’t test our ideas by putting them into practice and by enabling people to do things.

This leads me to think that building the Mozilla Foundation is building concentric circles, with the software development we’re already doing as the innermost circle. The next circle out would be pretty closely related to this, the next circle a little less so. One of these concentric layers may become a boundary — the furthest point we can go and still have cohesion and effectiveness. That’s a fine thing. At that point we’ll know the scope of things we can do as Mozilla.

Figuring out what makes sense as the next couple of layers is a good-sized job itself. It’s important to do this, to identify the concrete opportunities for broadening the Mozilla Foundation. I’ve been immersed in the product questions for so long that it is very refreshing to see new perspectives on this. It’s got my mind spinning off in new directions.

Mozilla Foundation Discussion

June 19th, 2008

Mark Surman has an interesting post today thinking about ways in which the Mozilla Foundation might provide more leadership for the open web, or open Internet in general. The question of how best to broaden the Foundation’s activities is near to my own heart; it’s exciting to see people starting a positive conversation about this question.

Mark is a Fellow with the Shuttleworth Foundation, and is involved in a range of activities related top open collaboration. He’s got a fresh perspective that leads to some interesting thinking. I’d encourage you to take a look and add your voice to the discussion.

Executive Director Search Update

March 11th, 2008

The Mozilla Foundation is looking for an Executive Director. We’ve been doing this for a while now. We suspected that the number of people who can understand and lead something of Mozilla’s complexity and history would be small and hard to find, and we were right. Here’s where we are.

We’ve had three or four meetings of the search committee where we talked to a number of potential candidates. So far we haven’t found a candidate the search committee thinks is close enough to introduce to the broader Mozilla group. (And of course, this process is sensitive for the candidates, so we only want to introduce candidates who we think have a reasonable chance of making sense for Mozilla.)

One important thing we’ve learned so far: It’s hard to find someone who understands both open source software and the consumer space. This is an area where Mozilla is truly a pioneer and this has been clear in the search process. We’ve talked to a number of people who understand software and open source software in particular. We’ve found that many of these folks are almost exclusively focused on things like conferences for open source developers, understanding the various open source stacks and so on. Most of these folks have not spent time living in a consumer world, or building consumer software or trying to talk to consumers. I think our massive contact with consumers is one of the unusual — almost unique — characteristics that Mozilla brings to the effort to promote openness, interoperability and participation on the web.

Another set of people understand consumers well but don’t have much background in software or open source development. Some of these folks are very smart, understand the Mozilla mission and could do a lot to help us bring the Mozilla vision to a broader set of people. For these folks the issue is generally: do they understand — or can learn – enough about Mozilla and Internet technology to be effective? That includes both being accepted by our developer community as a viable leader and understanding enough about Internet technology to be creative in our world.

We’ve come across a couple of people who seem likely to bridge this gap, although there have been setbacks. One potential candidate had to withdraw due to family circumstances. But we haven’t given up by any means.

I’ll try to do updates more frequently, and/or encourage another member of the Search Committee to do so. When we have a candidate who looks promising there will certainly be public discussion.

The many meanings of “non-profit”

October 31st, 2007

I’m often asked various questions about non-profits. It seems many people have a general idea of what “non-profit” means but very few have a specific, technical understanding. This makes perfect sense. he technical understanding is a legal and accounting mix, and specific to legal jurisdiction as well.

So here’s a brief outline of what “non-profit” means — techncially — to the Mozilla Foundation. It’s pretty dense stuff, and I’ll provide only the most basic summary.

I. “Non-profit” status

The Mozilla Foundation is incorporated as a “non-profit public benefit” corporation under California law. (So yes, even a non-profit “foundation” is a “corporation.” In this sense “corporation” means a form that is recognized as having a legal existence.) Its property is dedicated to charitable purposes. It also means that the Mozilla Foundation is governed by the California Nonprofit Corporation Law, which is different from California’s General Corporations Code. I’ve found that the distinctions between the general Corporations Law and the Nonprofit Corporation Law include structural elements — members instead of shareholders and so on, and a set of distinctions which I think of as designed to ensure that the organization is pursuing a non-profit goal rather than pursuing private gain.

For example, the Articles of Incorporation of the Mozilla Foundation (and other non-profit corporations) provide that:

“This Corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person . . . The specific purpose of the Corporation is to promote the development of, public access to and adoption of the open source Mozilla web browsing and Internet application software.”

II. “Tax-exempt” status

The Mozilla Foundation is also a tax-exempt organization as determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. To be a tax-exempt organization one needs to show that one is incorporated as a non-profit organization (see Section 1 above), and that the purpose of the organization fits within additional specifications. Once this status is granted, a tax-exempt organizations is governed by a body of regulations and policies promulgated by the IRS. These regulations are in addition to any requirements imposed by the Nonprofit Corporation Law. These regulations relate both the purpose of the tax-exempt organization and also require that the organization’s actions be in furtherance of the tax-exempt purpose. They also limit the kinds of activities in which a tax exempt organization can engage, particularly activities that generate revenue. To help me understand this, I think of this as a trading general flexibility of action by the organization in exchange for tax-exempt status.

The Mozilla Foundation’s tax exemption determination letter can be found on the Foundation’s website.

III. “501(c)(3)” status

The Internal Revenue Service grants tax-exempt status to several different kinds of organizations.

More specifically, the Mozilla Foundation is a “501 ( c) (3) corporation.” The “501” here stands for the section number of the U.S. tax code that defines tax-exempt organizations. Section 501(c ) (3) allows tax exempt status for an organization that is ” . . . organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes . . .” You can find the text of Section 503 of the US tax code here: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00000501—-000-.html

Before I was involved with the Mozilla Foundation, I thought that the definition of a 501(c )(3) corporation covered most of what one needs to know. It turns out that are two quite different kinds of 501(c )(3) corporations. There are “private foundations” and there are “public benefit” charities. Each type is subject to different regulations. Here’s a description of the differences written in generally understandable language.

The Mozilla Foundation is a public benefit charity. In addition, the Mozilla Foundation is a tax-exempt organization as determined by the State of California.

2. Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation.

It’s hard to find documents in this area that are relatively easily understood. I am including an excerpt from a document at the IRS site that is a useful starting point. It describes how the tax-exempt parent and the taxable subsidiary must act separately, and not as one. The document, known as ectopic86 (written for a training seminar in 1986) says this about the activities of a tax-exempt parent and a taxable entity:

“1. Introduction. Taxable for-profit subsidiaries of organizations exempt under IRC 501(c) are not a new phenomenon. The formation of such organizations, however, has increased markedly in recent years.”

It goes on to state:

“A parent’s exempt status may be jeopardized if the commercial activities of its subsidiary can be considered to be, in fact, activities of the parent . . . . That is, where a corporation is organized with the bona fide intention that it will have some real and substantial business function, its existence may not generally be disregarded for tax purposes. Britt, 431 F.2d at 234. However, where the parent corporation so controls the affairs of the subsidiary that it is merely an instrumentality of the parent, the corporate entity of the subsidiary may be disregarded. (See IRC 482; see also 1 W. Fletcher, Cyclopedia of the Law of Private Corporations Section 43.10 (Perm. Ed. 1983).)

B. Application of Principles Whether the activities of a separately incorporated taxable subsidiary may be attributed to its parent is, therefore, a question of evidence. Basically, once it is established that a taxable subsidiary was formed for a valid business purpose, the activities of such a subsidiary cannot be attributed to its parent unless the facts provide clear and convincing evidence that the subsidiary is in reality an arm, agent, or integral part of the parent. This presents a considerable evidentiary burden that is not easily overcome. Clear and convincing evidence of the subsidiary’s lack of separate existence could be produced, however, in situations where the parent is involved in the day-to-day management of the subsidiary, where the subsidiary’s Board of Directors has no independence of action, or where transactions between the two entities are conducted on a basis that is otherwise than at arm’s length. (Transactions between parent and subsidiary should be scrutinized carefully from another point of view: the possibility of inurement always exists, and a parent-subsidiary relationship cannot function as a shield against the assertion of inurement.)”

You can find the full document the IRS website.

Beyond Sustainability

October 22nd, 2007

In this post I want to focus on two fundamental aspects of the Mozilla project. First, Mozilla as a giant, wildly vibrant open source project. Second, Mozilla as a force for building an Internet based on openness, choice, participation and public benefit. We’re a force in the lives of individual people and in the Internet industry as a whole. These two aspects of Mozilla are complementary; each strengthens the other. Either one alone would be a great achievement. The two together are a breathtaking accomplishment.

Today we are posting our audited financial statements and tax form for 2006. The highlight is that Mozilla remains financially healthy: we’re able to hire more people, build more products, help other projects, and bring more possibilities for participation in the Internet to millions of people. The Mozilla project is growing in almost every way — size, scale, types of activities, new communities, and in reach.

Financial Highlights

Mozilla’s revenues (including both Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation) for 2006 were $66,840,850, up approximately 26% from 2005 revenue of $52,906,602. As in 2005 the vast majority of this revenue is associated with the search functionality in Mozilla Firefox, and the majority of that is from Google. The Firefox userbase and search revenue have both increased from 2005. Search revenue increased at a lesser rate than Firefox usage growth as the rate of payment declines with volume. Other revenue sources were the Mozilla Store, public support and interest and other income on our assets.

Mozilla expenses for 2006 were $19,776,193. Expenditures remain highly focused in two key areas: people and infrastructure. By the end of 2006 Mozilla was funding approximately 90 people working full or part-time on Mozilla around the world. Expenditures on people accounted for roughly 70% of our total expenses in 2006. The largest concentrations of people funded by Mozilla were in California, Tokyo, Toronto, and Paris. The number of funded people and of multi-person locations continues to grow. As of October 2007 we have additional concentrations of people in Beijing and New Zealand, with announced plans to increase the number of people in Europe.

Mozilla’s revenue in 2006 exceeded our expenses. Our assets at the end of 2006 were $74,148,710, up from $52,396,387 at the end of 2005. In 2007 we expect our expenses to be significantly higher as we have continued to hire and fund more people and develop additional programs.

Of the people Mozilla funds, the largest single group works on the Mozilla “platform.” This includes all the underlying technology that individuals don’t manipulate directly — networking, layout, understanding content from websites, security, and so on. The work of the platform group supports all Mozilla products and most Mozilla projects. The next largest group is Quality Assurance, which provides formal verification for Firefox and Thunderbird, and informal assistance to other Mozilla projects. Other large groups are the Firefox application group, marketing and outreach, and IT or technical infrastructure. We have small but potent sets of people working on build and release, web tools, our websites (including add-ons), and other functions.

Mozilla’s technical infrastructure also grew dramatically in 2006. In late 2006 we served close to 600,000 Firefox downloads, over 2.1 terabytes of data and 25 million update requests — per day — making Mozilla one of the top 100 sites on the web. In addition, 2006 saw a vast increase in capacity and infrastructure reliability for all essential Mozilla services including the launch of a European datacenter, cutting server response time by 50% or more for much for Europe.

The improvements in infrastructure go beyond machines and moving bits. Our infrastructure for providing add-ons is an example. The add-ons site supports not only Firefox and Thunderbird but also the community projects of SeaMonkey and Sunbird. We’ve also spent a great deal of effort to make our sites multi-lingual, rather than simply “localized.” In the past, key sites such as addons.mozilla.org were English sites that could also provide translated content in other languages. Today add-ons has been rewritten to be language-neutral, meaning that the same service level is available to everyone. This was actually a very difficult and painful process. We did it because more and more non-English speakers are accessing the web, and we want to offer them equal ability to participate in the Mozilla world and the Internet in general.

The infrastructure work is an example of how revenue generated by Firefox is used to provide benefit to the entire Mozilla community. We now have a world-class infrastructure – machines that are tended and optimized constantly, prompt updates with security patches, on call response available when problems occur – which supports a range of Mozilla projects.

In 2006 we began giving grants and funding programs. One area of focus has been improving accessibility for people with disabilities, including people with low vision, mobility and learning disabilities. This work includes accessibility for Mozilla products and also accessibility in general. For example, funding to date has included better accessibility of AJAX-based dynamic web applications and support for building better open source accessibility infrastructure technologies on Windows and Linux. In addition to the accessibility related programs, Mozilla’s other major areas of expenditure have included support of third-party developers of add-ons, and support of a trial program at Seneca College exploring student participation in Mozilla development at colleges and universities. We have also made a series of grants to individuals making contributions to Mozilla projects. This includes hardware, funding travel to allow face-to-face meetings for our distributed community of participants, providing tools and infrastructure (machines and hosting) for community members. We also provided assistance to Creative Commons.

In 2006 Mozilla contributed approximately $300,000 to these efforts. This is a small first step as we learn to spend money without causing unintended consequences in our community. We expect the amounts to expand significantly in 2007 and beyond. For example, so far in 2007 we provided a grant to the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University for its ongoing operations in support of open source projects and the Participatory Culture Foundation for improving open source-cross platform video on the Internet through its Miro Player project.

We’ve started an FAQ and will add to it if new questions come up.

Our financial status allows us to build on sustainability to do ever more. More as an open source project, and more to move the Internet overall increasingly towards openness and participation.

Growth as an Open Source Project

Mozilla is a gigantic open source project and still growing. Tens of thousands of people are involved in the Mozilla project. Over 1,000 people contributed code to Firefox 2. Mozilla employed around 50 of those people. In 2006, approximately 10,000 people downloaded nightly builds every day; this number continues to grow. Sixteen thousand people reported bugs or potential issues in our bug-tracking system; something like a thousand comments a day were added to the issue-tracker. Our new, more precise distributed testing system gained approximately 2000 participants in the first months after its deployment. Tens of thousands of people test our beta and security releases before we offer them to the general public. The Spread Firefox referral program had over 65,000 participants displaying Mozilla or Firefox content (buttons, etc.) on their websites. Uncounted numbers of people participate through promoting Mozilla and helping others learn about Mozilla.

The geographical distribution of Mozilla contributors and usage has expanded significantly. In November of 2006 we shipped Firefox 2 in 37 languages. That’s unprecedented. Comparable products ship in as few as 1 language, with some tools available for a handful of other languages. Thunderbird 2.0 shipped in 33 languages. We’re adding more languages all the time; Firefox 2 is now available in 44 languages and Thunderbird in 36. The translation and localization work for these languages is overwhelmingly done by volunteers who want to see Firefox and Thunderbird optimized for their culture and then vetted through our Quality Assurance team. This is demanding work, often done on a tight time frame. It reflects much of what makes Mozilla great: people’s willingness, even eagerness, to commit time and energy to create something worthwhile. The results bear out the importance of this work: today about half of Firefox usage is in a language other than English.

Mozilla is best known for the Firefox web browser, but the Mozilla community creates many other things as well. This includes the Thunderbird mail client, and a set of other significant projects such as Bugzilla, SeaMonkey (cross platform browing and mail integrated product), Camino (Mac-only browser), Sunbird (calendar application), and Lightning (calendar add-on for Thunderbird). Thousands of people create new functionality for Mozilla products through the mechanism known as add-ons. In addition, people and companies are using Mozilla technology to create whole new applications, ranging from video browsing to music to specialized “in-house” applications.

Impact in the Industry

The Mozilla mission is not simply to be a successful open source project. It is also to develop an Internet where choice, innovation, participation, individual empowerment and public benefit are integral to the fabric of online life. It’s a big vision, and we’re making progress. Already about 120 million people use Firefox and enjoy a safer, more personal browsing experience. Millions use the Thunderbird email client and enjoy an open email experience.

This userbase makes Mozilla relevant to the Internet industry. We’ve always had high mindshare but combining mindshare with a significant number of users makes an enormous difference. As a result, good things happen. For example:

1. Web content is increasingly written to be accessible through Firefox and other standards-focused browsers. This is a fundamental requirement for keeping the Internet a good place. It’s a prerequisite for individuals to have choice and for commercial players to have room to innovate.

2. We are able to drive innovation into the open, interoperable layer of the Internet rather than see it end up in the closed, controlled communities of commercial platforms. An example of this is video. We are working publicly on a shared specification that allows videos to be manipulated in the browser like other content. We have the technology working already. By “manipulate” I mean much more than watching a video, a la YouTube. I mean being able to combine, rotate, overlap, cut and paste video just as we do text today. You can see the possibilities here. This might seem obvious until one realizes that there are commercial initiatives underway to demonstrate that video should be manipulated not so much through the web, but through closed, proprietary development environments and plug-ins. An environment where a single software vendor controls the formats, and ultimately controls whether people using Firefox or other browsers can see the content that results.

3. Innovation is flourishing. Thousands of people have created and tested improvements to human interaction with the Internet. Some of these have been significant commercial successes, such as StumbleUpon which started with a Firefox-specific product and later moved to other browsers.

4. Mozilla’s voice is stronger when fundamental decisions about Internet technology – particularly protocols and standards – are decided. We’re also a force for making these discussions more transparent. For example, the ongoing work on ECMAScript 4 (generally known as “JavaScript 2″) is becoming publicly available for review, comment and participation. A more general example is Mozilla’s involvement with the WHAT Working Group (“WHATWG”), which is pushing development of web standards into open, public forums.

5. Safety and security of Internet life can be improved. Firefox users have been at risk far, far less frequently than people who use the dominant browser. Mozilla is regularly cited as an example of how to respond when alleged safety issues are uncovered. Our approach to security allows more people to do more to protect themselves and others.

6. Public benefit, civic and social value become components of the Internet’s future, complementing the creation of private economic value.

7. Millions of people who would not otherwise know of or care about open source software are exposed to it and experience its power.

Mozilla is a global community of people working together to build a better Internet. We work to build an Internet that is open, participatory and exciting. We create a portion of the Internet that is a public asset, forever dedicated to public benefit.

We do this through by building communities of people who believe in this mission and enjoy working together to make this happen. It’s an inspiring task. It’s hard work. It’s rewarding. It’s fun. And it’s growing.

Mozilla is growing because people choose to join us, because individual human beings make a decision to take action. People participate in a myriad of ways, from building our software to telling others about our goals.

We can make the impact of the Internet on our lives better — better than it will be if Mozilla doesn’t exist; better than we can imagine.

If you are already a Mozilla participant, I urge you to take a moment and reflect on the contributions that together we are making to online life. If you’re not yet a participant, now is a great time to join us.

ED Search Interviews

September 24th, 2007

Last Wednesday (September 19) Dan Mosedale did a brief segment about the Mozilla Foundation’s search for an executive director on that day’s Air Mozilla episode. In that interview (available via a multitude of sources, check out the options are Air Mozilla) Dan described how the Search Committee is looking for input to form our questions and frame our initial discussions with candidates. The current working sets of questions / discussion topics for both first and second round interviews can be found linked from the Executive Director summary page, as can the notes describing the interview process from our kick-off meeting with our recruiter. The second round of interview is where we’ll really start to dig into how a candidate might interact with Mozilla.

The search committee will do a better job if we know your hopes and goals for the Mozilla Foundation. Please take a few minutes to read through our topics so far and let us know your hopes and goals, and suggest types of discussions you would find valuable to have with candidates.

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